Loyal to her proven formula for success, Singapore has long been, and will continue to be, highly dependent on human capital for her prosperity as a nation. For our nation to retain her competitive edge in terms of the quality of her workforce, we need to breathe vigour into a culture of lifelong learning.
Both the SSG and WSG are paramount in keeping our workforce sharp. These two statutory boards function together with pristine synergy, empowering workers and businesses with the tools they need to remain competitive.
As recipients of the SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholarship, Olivia Chin Ying Lin and Fiona Lim Hui Shi had the unique chance to develop in two agencies under a single scholarship. They tell us about what drew them to the industry, the enriching careers of SSG-WSG scholars, and how they want to make positive impact on the nation as public servants.
To start off, tell us about your current role.
Olivia Chin Ying Lin: I am a Manager with SSG’s Strategic Planning Division. As part of the policy team, I am involved in driving the agency’s corporate planning functions, as well as aligning priorities and strategies to the training and skills development needs of Singapore’s workforce.
Fiona Lim Hui Shi: I am a Manager with the Creative and Professional Services Division of WSG. I work primarily with companies to assess their manpower needs and recommend programmes from WSG or other relevant agencies that would best meet their needs. I would then work closely with these companies to help them implement relevant programmes. This requires me to be familiar with all available schemes within SSG and WSG, as well as those from other government agencies and industry.
Chin Ying Lin Olivia
SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholar
Strategic Planning Division
What drew you to pursue a career with SSG and WSG?
Olivia: I relished the prospect of being able to play an active role in shaping a competitive and future-ready workforce in Singapore. People are our greatest resource and talent. I am excited and proud to now be a part of an organisation that empowers individuals to acquire new and relevant skills, spurring on their personal and professional growth.
Fiona: Being a sociology undergraduate affirmed my interest to work in the government sector, as it would allow me to look into national policies. At that point in time, I also volunteered in organisations that helped lower income families. From these experiences, I understood more about the fundamental issues and challenges faced by them in making ends meet. I wanted to help improve lives by tackling employment issues.
What unique benefits does the SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholarship offer?
Olivia: I believe this is the only government scholarship that offers scholars the unique chance to work across two government agencies! Both SSG and WSG are strongly linked with the common vision of building a resilient workforce and a nation of lifelong learners. We have the advantage of experiencing the unique culture of strong collaboration between SSG and WSG, and have access to cross-agency developmental opportunities as well as staff welfare activities.
Fiona: Offering the chance to work in two agencies, this scholarship stands out from the rest. Through the unique joint offering, scholars can look forward to double the exposure with twice as many opportunities to learn, grow and develop professionally in their careers.
Fiona Lim Hui Shi
SSG-WSG Joint Undergraduate Scholar
Creative and Professional Services Division
How would you describe the work culture of SSG-WSG?
Olivia: One of our key cross-agency collaboration platforms is the SSG-WSG Learning Movement team. It is a team which organises exciting learning activities all year-round, ranging from educational lunch talks, industry visits, to the annual Learning Festival! As the two key agencies championing skills-uplifting and lifelong learning, SSG-WSG definitely lead by example in fostering a nurturing environment that celebrates learning.
Fiona: SSG-WSG has an open and supportive culture. A senior colleague was assigned as my buddy on my first day at work. He provided me with guidance and would regularly checked in on me - helping me settle into my job.
To keep fit, my division has scenic weekly runs at the nearby Marina Barrage. In addition to that, we also organise activities such as Karaoke, cheese parties and spontaneous trips to stock up our “get-fat-corner” – our fuel to keep going at work.
How has SSG-WSG supported your professional and personal development?
Olivia: Prior to my current posting overseeing policy work at SSG, I had the opportunity to take on industry engagement projects at WSG, whereby I would work with tripartite partners on the development of manpower and training capabilities of Singapore’s hotel sector.
Having access to work experience at both agencies provided me with a good balance of building up both my hard and soft skills such as networking, project management, and strategic thinking.
Fiona: SSG and WSG invest in us and we have many opportunities for growth. I am grateful to have a work mentor from our senior management team, whom I am able to share my personal and professional challenges with. This has helped me in navigating my work challenges and thinking about my own development.
Finally, what opportunities can prospective SSG-WSG scholars expect from the programme?
Olivia: You can look forward to cross-agency and cross-divisional projects, secondments and opportunities to be exposed to the work in two esteemed agencies.
Fiona: Fresh grads who join us can look forward to a wide breadth of exposure, in terms of work scope and stakeholders. The unique opportunity this scholarship offers is the exposure to two different agencies. Through this, you would have opportunities to work with a range of stakeholders from training providers and private education institutes (in SSG), and employers and individuals (in WSG).